Airworthiness Directives; Airbus Helicopters, 52859-52862 [2021-20414]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 86, No. 182 / Thursday, September 23, 2021 / Proposed Rules North Forum Drive, Grand Prairie, TX 75052; telephone (972) 641–0000 or (800) 232–0323; fax (972) 641–3775; or at https:// www.airbus.com/helicopters/services/ technical-support.html. You may view this referenced service information at the FAA, Office of the Regional Counsel, Southwest Region, 10101 Hillwood Pkwy., Room 6N– 321, Fort Worth, TX 76177. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call (817) 222–5110. (3) The subject of this AD is addressed in EASA AD 2021–0050, dated February 23, 2021. You may view the EASA AD on the internet at https://www.regulations.gov in Docket No. FAA–2021–0797. Issued on September 15, 2021. Gaetano A. Sciortino, Deputy Director for Strategic Initiatives, Compliance & Airworthiness Division, Aircraft Certification Service. [FR Doc. 2021–20409 Filed 9–22–21; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–13–P DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA–2021–0829; Project Identifier MCAI–2021–00189–R] RIN 2120–AA64 Airworthiness Directives; Airbus Helicopters Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT. ACTION: Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM). AGENCY: The FAA proposes to supersede Airworthiness Directive (AD) 2021–04–21, which applies to certain Airbus Helicopters Model EC120B helicopters. AD 2021–04–21 requires an inspection of the attachment bolts of the main rotor (MR) hub scissors assembly for discrepancies and repair if necessary; part marking of the attachment bolts of the MR hub scissors assembly; and repetitive inspections of the part marking of the attachment bolts, and repair if necessary. Since the FAA issued AD 2021–04–21, the FAA has determined that additional part marking of the washer, scissor branch, and mast ring of the corresponding nut side, and repetitive inspections of the additional part markings are necessary. This proposed AD would continue to require the actions in AD 2021–04–21; and also would require part marking of the washer, scissor branch, and mast ring of the corresponding nut side, and repetitive inspections of the additional part markings and repair if necessary; as specified in a European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) AD, which is lotter on DSK11XQN23PROD with PROPOSALS1 SUMMARY: VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:31 Sep 22, 2021 Jkt 253001 proposed for incorporation by reference (IBR). The FAA is proposing this AD to address the unsafe condition on these products. The FAA must receive comments on this proposed AD by November 8, 2021. DATES: You may send comments, using the procedures found in 14 CFR 11.43 and 11.45, by any of the following methods: • Federal eRulemaking Portal: Go to https://www.regulations.gov. Follow the instructions for submitting comments. • Fax: 202–493–2251. • Mail: U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket Operations, M– 30, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12–140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, Washington, DC 20590. • Hand Delivery: Deliver to Mail address above between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. For material that is proposed for IBR in this AD, contact the EASA, KonradAdenauer-Ufer 3, 50668 Cologne, Germany; phone: +49 221 8999 000; email: ADs@easa.europa.eu; internet: www.easa.europa.eu. You may find this IBR material on the EASA website at https://ad.easa.europa.eu. You may view this material at the FAA, Office of the Regional Counsel, Southwest Region, 10101 Hillwood Pkwy., Room 6N–321, Fort Worth, TX 76177. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call 817–222–5110. It is also available in the AD docket on the internet at https:// www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA–2021– 0829. ADDRESSES: Examining the AD Docket You may examine the AD docket on the internet at https:// www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA–2021– 0829; or in person at Docket Operations between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The AD docket contains this NPRM, any comments received, and other information. The street address for Docket Operations is listed above. Comments will be available in the AD docket shortly after receipt. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Hal Jensen, Aerospace Engineer, Operational Safety Branch, Compliance & Airworthiness Division, FAA, 950 L’Enfant Plaza N SW, Washington, DC 20024; phone: (202) 267–9167; email: hal.jensen@faa.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: PO 00000 Frm 00016 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 52859 Comments Invited The FAA invites you to send any written relevant data, views, or arguments about this proposal. Send your comments to an address listed under ADDRESSES. Include ‘‘Docket No. FAA–2021–0829; Project Identifier MCAI–2021–00189–R’’ at the beginning of your comments. The most helpful comments reference a specific portion of the proposal, explain the reason for any recommended change, and include supporting data. The FAA will consider all comments received by the closing date and may amend this proposal because of those comments. Except for Confidential Business Information (CBI) as described in the following paragraph, and other information as described in 14 CFR 11.35, the FAA will post all comments received, without change, to https:// www.regulations.gov, including any personal information you provide. The agency will also post a report summarizing each substantive verbal contact received about this proposal. Confidential Business Information CBI is commercial or financial information that is both customarily and actually treated as private by its owner. Under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) (5 U.S.C. 552), CBI is exempt from public disclosure. If your comments responsive to this NPRM contain commercial or financial information that is customarily treated as private, that you actually treat as private, and that is relevant or responsive to this NPRM, it is important that you clearly designate the submitted comments as CBI. Please mark each page of your submission containing CBI as ‘‘PROPIN.’’ The FAA will treat such marked submissions as confidential under the FOIA, and they will not be placed in the public docket of this NPRM. Submissions containing CBI should be sent to Hal Jensen, Aerospace Engineer, Operational Safety Branch, Compliance & Airworthiness Division, FAA, 950 L’Enfant Plaza N SW, Washington, DC 20024; phone: (202) 267–9167; email: hal.jensen@faa.gov. Any commentary that the FAA receives that is not specifically designated as CBI will be placed in the public docket for this rulemaking. Background The FAA issued AD 2021–04–21, Amendment 39–21443 (86 FR 17278, April 2, 2021) (AD 2021–04–21), which applies to certain Airbus Helicopters Model EC120B helicopters. AD 2021– 04–21 requires an inspection of the attachment bolts of the MR hub scissors E:\FR\FM\23SEP1.SGM 23SEP1 52860 Federal Register / Vol. 86, No. 182 / Thursday, September 23, 2021 / Proposed Rules assembly for discrepancies and repair if necessary; part marking of the attachment bolts of the MR hub scissors assembly; and repetitive inspections of the part marking of the attachment bolts, and repair if necessary. The FAA issued AD 2021–04–21 to address broken and bent attachment bolts of the MR hub scissors assembly, which could lead to detachment of a MR hub scissors attachment bolt, possibly resulting in complete loss of control of the helicopter. Actions Since AD 2021–04–21 Was Issued Since the FAA issued AD 2021–04– 21, the FAA has determined that additional part marking of the washer, scissor branch, and mast ring of the corresponding nut side, and repetitive inspections of the additional part markings are necessary to detect rotation of the attachment bolts of the MR hub scissors assembly. The EASA, which is the Technical Agent for the Member States of the European Union, has issued EASA AD 2021–0046, dated February 12, 2021 (EASA AD 2021–0046) (also referred to as the Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information, or the MCAI), to correct an unsafe condition for all Airbus Helicopters Model EC120B helicopters. Although EASA AD 2021–0046 applies to all Model EC120B helicopters, this proposed AD would apply to helicopters with an affected part installed instead. This proposed AD was prompted by a report of broken and bent attachment bolts of the MR hub scissors assembly and a determination that additional part markings of the washer, scissor branch, and mast ring of the corresponding nut side, and repetitive inspections of the additional part markings are necessary. The FAA is proposing this AD to address broken and bent attachment bolts of the MR hub scissors assembly, which could lead to detachment of a MR hub scissors attachment bolt, possibly resulting in complete loss of control of the helicopter. See the MCAI for additional background information. Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51 Proposed AD Requirements This proposed AD would require accomplishing the actions specified in EASA AD 2021–0046 described previously, as incorporated by reference, except for any differences identified as exceptions in the regulatory text of this AD. EASA AD 2021–0046 specifies procedures for an inspection of the attachment bolts of the MR hub scissors assembly for discrepancies (discrepancies include corrosion, fretting, wear, cracking, bolt play, and bolt tightening torque) and repair if necessary; part marking of the washer, scissor branch, and mast ring of the attachment bolts and corresponding nut side of the MR hub scissors assembly; and repetitive inspections, after part marking, for discrepancies, and repair if necessary. The inspections of the attachment bolts of the MR hub assembly include checking the play and torque of the scissors attachment bolts and making sure that there are no hard spots in the scissors link hinge. This material is reasonably available because the interested parties have access to it through their normal course of business or by the means identified in the ADDRESSES section. Explanation of Required Compliance Information FAA’s Determination and Requirements of This Proposed AD This product has been approved by the aviation authority of another country, and is approved for operation in the United States. Pursuant to the bilateral agreement with the State of Design Authority, the FAA has been notified of the unsafe condition described in the MCAI referenced above. The FAA is proposing this AD after evaluating all the relevant information and determining the unsafe condition described previously is likely to exist or develop in other products of the same type design. Explanation of Retained Requirements Although this proposed AD does not explicitly restate the requirements of AD 2021–04–21, this proposed AD would retain all of the requirements of AD 2021–04–21. Those requirements are referenced in EASA AD 2021–0046, which, in turn, is referenced in paragraph (g) of this proposed AD. In the FAA’s ongoing efforts to improve the efficiency of the AD process, the FAA initially worked with Airbus and EASA to develop a process to use certain EASA ADs as the primary source of information for compliance with requirements for corresponding FAA ADs. The FAA has since coordinated with other manufacturers and civil aviation authorities to use this process. As a result, EASA AD 2021– 0046 will be incorporated by reference in the FAA final rule. This proposed AD would, therefore, require compliance with EASA AD 2021–0046 in its entirety, through that incorporation, except for any differences identified as exceptions in the regulatory text of this proposed AD. Using common terms that are the same as the heading of a particular section in the EASA AD does not mean that operators need comply only with that section. For example, where the AD requirement refers to ‘‘all required actions and compliance times,’’ compliance with this AD requirement is not limited to the section titled ‘‘Required Action(s) and Compliance Time(s)’’ in the EASA AD. Service information specified in EASA AD 2021–0046 that is required for compliance with EASA AD 2021–0046 will be available on the internet at https://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA–2021–0829 after the FAA final rule is published. Costs of Compliance The FAA estimates that this proposed AD affects 89 helicopters of U.S. registry. The FAA estimates the following costs to comply with this proposed AD: lotter on DSK11XQN23PROD with PROPOSALS1 ESTIMATED COSTS FOR REQUIRED ACTIONS Parts cost Cost per product Cost on U.S. operators Action Labor cost Inspection for discrepancies (retained actions from AD 2021–04–21). Part Marking (retained actions from AD 2021– 04–21). Repetitive Inspection of Markings (retained actions from AD 2021–04–21). Additional Part Marking (new proposed action) Repetitive Inspection (new proposed action) .... 4 work-hours × $85 per hour = $340 .............. $0 $340 ............................ $30,260. 1 work-hour × $85 per hour = $85 .................. 0 85 ................................ 7,565. 1 work-hour × $85 per hour = $85 per inspection cycle. 1 work-hour × $85 per hour = $85 .................. 1 work-hours × $85 per hour = $85 per inspection cycle. 0 85 per inspection cycle 7,565 per inspection cycle. 0 0 85 ................................ 85 per inspection cycle 7,565. 7,565 per inspection cycle. VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:31 Sep 22, 2021 Jkt 253001 PO 00000 Frm 00017 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 E:\FR\FM\23SEP1.SGM 23SEP1 Federal Register / Vol. 86, No. 182 / Thursday, September 23, 2021 / Proposed Rules The FAA estimates that it would take about 1 hour per product to comply with the proposed reporting requirement in this proposed AD. The average labor rate is $85 per hour. Based on these figures, the FAA estimates the cost of reporting on U.S. operators to be $7,565, or $85 per product. The FAA estimates the following costs to do any necessary on-condition 52861 actions that would be required based on the results of any required actions. The FAA has no way of determining the number of helicopters that might need these on-condition actions: lotter on DSK11XQN23PROD with PROPOSALS1 ON-CONDITION COSTS Action Labor cost Parts cost Repair of the attachment bolts ..................................... 4 work-hours × $85 per hour = $340 ........................... Cost per product $40 $380 Paperwork Reduction Act Regulatory Findings (b) Affected ADs A federal agency may not conduct or sponsor, and a person is not required to respond to, nor shall a person be subject to penalty for failure to comply with a collection of information subject to the requirements of the Paperwork Reduction Act unless that collection of information displays a current valid OMB control number. The control number for the collection of information required by this proposed AD is 2120– 0056. The paperwork cost associated with this proposed AD has been detailed in the Costs of Compliance section of this document and includes time for reviewing instructions, as well as completing and reviewing the collection of information. Therefore, all reporting associated with this proposed AD is mandatory. Comments concerning the accuracy of this burden and suggestions for reducing the burden should be directed to Information Collection Clearance Officer, Federal Aviation Administration, 10101 Hillwood Pkwy., Fort Worth, TX 76177– 1524. The FAA determined that this proposed AD would not have federalism implications under Executive Order 13132. This proposed AD would not have a substantial direct effect on the States, on the relationship between the national Government and the States, or on the distribution of power and responsibilities among the various levels of government. For the reasons discussed above, I certify this proposed regulation: (1) Is not a ‘‘significant regulatory action’’ under Executive Order 12866, (2) Would not affect intrastate aviation in Alaska, and (3) Would not have a significant economic impact, positive or negative, on a substantial number of small entities under the criteria of the Regulatory Flexibility Act. This AD replaces AD 2021–04–21, Amendment 39–21443 (86 FR 17278, April 2, 2021) (AD 2021–04–21). Authority for This Rulemaking Accordingly, under the authority delegated to me by the Administrator, the FAA proposes to amend 14 CFR part 39 as follows: Title 49 of the United States Code specifies the FAA’s authority to issue rules on aviation safety. Subtitle I, section 106, describes the authority of the FAA Administrator. Subtitle VII: Aviation Programs, describes in more detail the scope of the Agency’s authority. The FAA is issuing this rulemaking under the authority described in Subtitle VII, Part A, Subpart III, Section 44701: General requirements. Under that section, Congress charges the FAA with promoting safe flight of civil aircraft in air commerce by prescribing regulations for practices, methods, and procedures the Administrator finds necessary for safety in air commerce. This regulation is within the scope of that authority because it addresses an unsafe condition that is likely to exist or develop on products identified in this rulemaking action. VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:31 Sep 22, 2021 Jkt 253001 List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39 Air transportation, Aircraft, Aviation safety, Incorporation by reference, Safety. The Proposed Amendment PART 39—AIRWORTHINESS DIRECTIVES 1. The authority citation for part 39 continues to read as follows: Authority: 49 U.S.C. 106(g), 40113, 44701. [Amended] 2. The FAA amends § 39.13 by: a. Removing Airworthiness Directive (AD) 2021–04–21, Amendment 39– 21443 (86 FR 17278, April 2, 2021); and ■ b. Adding the following new AD: ■ ■ Airbus Helicopters: Docket No. FAA–2021– 0829; Project Identifier MCAI–2021– 00189–R. (a) Comments Due Date The FAA must receive comments on this airworthiness directive (AD) by November 8, 2021. PO 00000 Frm 00018 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 This AD applies to Airbus Helicopters Model EC120B helicopters, certificated in any category, having an affected part as defined in European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) AD 2021–0046, dated February 12, 2021 (EASA AD 2021–0046). (d) Subject Joint Aircraft System Component (JASC) Code 6200, Main Rotor System. (e) Unsafe Condition This AD was prompted by a report of broken and bent attachment bolts of the main rotor (MR) hub scissors assembly and a determination that additional part markings of the washer, scissor branch, and mast ring of the corresponding nut side, and repetitive inspections of those part markings, are necessary to detect any rotation. The FAA is issuing this AD to address broken and bent attachment bolts of the MR hub scissors assembly, which could lead to detachment of a MR hub scissors attachment bolt, possibly resulting in complete loss of control of the helicopter. (f) Compliance Comply with this AD within the compliance times specified, unless already done. (g) Requirements ■ § 39.13 (c) Applicability Except as specified in paragraph (h) of this AD: Comply with all required actions and compliance times specified in, and in accordance with, EASA AD 2021–0046. (h) Exceptions to EASA AD 2021–0046 (1) Where EASA AD 2021–0046 refers to its effective date, this AD requires using the effective date of this AD. (2) Where EASA AD 2021–0046 refers to September 05, 2018 (the effective date of EASA AD 2018–0186), this AD requires using May 7, 2021 (the effective date of AD 2021– 04–21). (3) This AD does not mandate compliance with the ‘‘Remarks’’ section of EASA AD 2021–0046. (4) Where the service information referenced in EASA AD 2021–0046 specifies to discard certain parts, this AD requires removing those parts from service. E:\FR\FM\23SEP1.SGM 23SEP1 52862 Federal Register / Vol. 86, No. 182 / Thursday, September 23, 2021 / Proposed Rules (5) Where EASA AD 2021–0046 refers to flight hours (FH), this AD requires using hours time-in-service. (6) Paragraphs (3) and (4) of EASA AD 2021–0046 refer to ‘‘discrepancies.’’ For this AD, discrepancies include corrosion, fretting, wear, cracking, bolt play, twist, shearing, rupture, and bolt tightening torque. (7) Where EASA AD 2021–0046 specifies to contact the manufacturer for repair instructions, this AD requires the repair to be done in accordance with a method approved by the Manager, General Aviation and Rotorcraft Section, International Validation Branch, FAA; or EASA; or Airbus Helicopter’s EASA Design Organization Approval (DOA). If approved by the DOA, the approval must include the DOAauthorized signature. (8) Paragraph (5) of EASA AD 2021–0046 specifies to report inspection results to Airbus Helicopters within a certain compliance time. For this AD, report inspection results at the applicable time specified in paragraph (h)(8)(i) or (ii) of this AD. (i) If the inspection was done on or after May 7, 2021 (the effective date of AD 2021– 04–21): Submit the report within 30 days after the inspection. (ii) If the inspection was done before May 7, 2021 (the effective date of AD 2021–04– 21): Submit the report within 30 days after May 7, 2021. (i) Special Flight Permit Special flight permits, as described in 14 CFR 21.197 and 21.199, are not allowed. lotter on DSK11XQN23PROD with PROPOSALS1 (k) Related Information (1) For EASA AD 2021–0046, contact the EASA, Konrad-Adenauer-Ufer 3, 50668 Cologne, Germany; phone: +49 221 8999 000; email: ADs@easa.europa.eu; internet: www.easa.europa.eu. You may find this EASA AD on the EASA website at https:// ad.easa.europa.eu. You may view this material at the FAA, Office of the Regional Counsel, Southwest Region, 10101 Hillwood Pkwy., Room 6N–321, Fort Worth, TX 76177. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call 817–222–5110. This material may be found in the AD docket on the internet at https://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA–2021–0829. 16:31 Sep 22, 2021 Jkt 253001 Issued on September 16, 2021. Lance T. Gant, Director, Compliance & Airworthiness Division, Aircraft Certification Service. [FR Doc. 2021–20414 Filed 9–22–21; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–13–P DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 71 [Docket No. FAA–2021–0803; Airspace Docket No. 19–AAL–58] RIN 2120–AA66 Proposed Amendment of United States Area Navigation Route (RNAV) T–222; Bethel, AK Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT. ACTION: Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM). AGENCY: This action proposes to amend United States Area Navigation (RNAV) route T–222 in the vicinity of Bethel, AK in support of a large and comprehensive T-route modernization project for the state of Alaska. DATES: Comments must be received on or before November 8, 2021. ADDRESSES: Send comments on this proposal to the U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket Operations, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12–140, Washington, DC 20590; telephone: 1(800) 647–5527, or (202) 366–9826. You must identify FAA Docket No. FAA–2021–0803; Airspace Docket No. 19–AAL–58 at the beginning of your comments. You may also submit comments through the internet at https://www.regulations.gov. FAA Order JO 7400.11F, Airspace Designations and Reporting Points, and subsequent amendments can be viewed online at https://www.faa.gov/air_traffic/ publications/. For further information, you can contact the Rules and Regulations Group, Federal Aviation Administration, 800 Independence Avenue SW, Washington, DC 20591; telephone: (202) 267–8783. The Order is also available for inspection at the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA). For information on the availability of the Order at NARA, email: fr.inspection@ SUMMARY: (j) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs) (1) The Manager, International Validation Branch, FAA, has the authority to approve AMOCs for this AD, if requested using the procedures found in 14 CFR 39.19. In accordance with 14 CFR 39.19, send your request to your principal inspector or local Flight Standards District Office, as appropriate. If sending information directly to the manager of the International Validation Branch, send it to the attention of the person identified in paragraph (k)(2) of this AD. Information may be emailed to: 9-AVS-AIR730-AMOC@faa.gov. (2) Before using any approved AMOC, notify your appropriate principal inspector, or lacking a principal inspector, the manager of the local flight standards district office/ certificate holding district office. VerDate Sep<11>2014 (2) For more information about this AD, contact Hal Jensen, Aerospace Engineer, Operational Safety Branch, Compliance & Airworthiness Division, FAA, 950 L’Enfant Plaza N SW, Washington, DC 20024; phone: (202) 267–9167; email: hal.jensen@faa.gov. PO 00000 Frm 00019 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 nara.gov or go to https:// www.archives.gov/federal-register/cfr/ ibr-locations.html. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Christopher McMullin, Rules and Regulations Group, Office of Policy, Federal Aviation Administration, 800 Independence Avenue SW, Washington, DC 20591; telephone: (202) 267–8783. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Authority for This Rulemaking The FAA’s authority to issue rules regarding aviation safety is found in Title 49 of the United States Code. Subtitle I, Section 106 describes the authority of the FAA Administrator. Subtitle VII, Aviation Programs, describes in more detail the scope of the agency’s authority. This rulemaking is promulgated under the authority described in Subtitle VII, Part A, Subpart I, Section 40103. Under that section, the FAA is charged with prescribing regulations to assign the use of the airspace necessary to ensure the safety of aircraft and the efficient use of airspace. This regulation is within the scope of that authority as it would expand the availability of RNAV routing in Alaska and improve the efficient flow of air traffic within the National Airspace System (NAS) by lessening the dependency on ground based navigation. Comments Invited Interested parties are invited to participate in this proposed rulemaking by submitting such written data, views, or arguments as they may desire. Comments that provide the factual basis supporting the views and suggestions presented are particularly helpful in developing reasoned regulatory decisions on the proposal. Comments are specifically invited on the overall regulatory, aeronautical, economic, environmental, and energy-related aspects of the proposal. Communications should identify both docket numbers (FAA Docket No. FAA– 2021–0803; Airspace Docket No. 19– AAL–58) and be submitted in triplicate to the Docket Management Facility (see ADDRESSES section for address and phone number). You may also submit comments through the internet at https://www.regulations.gov. Commenters wishing the FAA to acknowledge receipt of their comments on this action must submit with those comments a self-addressed, stamped postcard on which the following statement is made: ‘‘Comments to FAA Docket No. FAA–2021–0803; Airspace Docket No. 19–AAL–58.’’ The postcard will be date/time stamped and returned to the commenter. E:\FR\FM\23SEP1.SGM 23SEP1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 86, Number 182 (Thursday, September 23, 2021)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 52859-52862]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2021-20414]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Federal Aviation Administration

14 CFR Part 39

[Docket No. FAA-2021-0829; Project Identifier MCAI-2021-00189-R]
RIN 2120-AA64


Airworthiness Directives; Airbus Helicopters

AGENCY: Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

ACTION: Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM).

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SUMMARY: The FAA proposes to supersede Airworthiness Directive (AD) 
2021-04-21, which applies to certain Airbus Helicopters Model EC120B 
helicopters. AD 2021-04-21 requires an inspection of the attachment 
bolts of the main rotor (MR) hub scissors assembly for discrepancies 
and repair if necessary; part marking of the attachment bolts of the MR 
hub scissors assembly; and repetitive inspections of the part marking 
of the attachment bolts, and repair if necessary. Since the FAA issued 
AD 2021-04-21, the FAA has determined that additional part marking of 
the washer, scissor branch, and mast ring of the corresponding nut 
side, and repetitive inspections of the additional part markings are 
necessary. This proposed AD would continue to require the actions in AD 
2021-04-21; and also would require part marking of the washer, scissor 
branch, and mast ring of the corresponding nut side, and repetitive 
inspections of the additional part markings and repair if necessary; as 
specified in a European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) AD, which 
is proposed for incorporation by reference (IBR). The FAA is proposing 
this AD to address the unsafe condition on these products.

DATES: The FAA must receive comments on this proposed AD by November 8, 
2021.

ADDRESSES: You may send comments, using the procedures found in 14 CFR 
11.43 and 11.45, by any of the following methods:
     Federal eRulemaking Portal: Go to https://www.regulations.gov. Follow the instructions for submitting comments.
     Fax: 202-493-2251.
     Mail: U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket 
Operations, M-30, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 1200 New 
Jersey Avenue SE, Washington, DC 20590.
     Hand Delivery: Deliver to Mail address above between 9 
a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.
    For material that is proposed for IBR in this AD, contact the EASA, 
Konrad-Adenauer-Ufer 3, 50668 Cologne, Germany; phone: +49 221 8999 
000; email: [email protected]; internet: www.easa.europa.eu. You may 
find this IBR material on the EASA website at https://ad.easa.europa.eu. You may view this material at the FAA, Office of the 
Regional Counsel, Southwest Region, 10101 Hillwood Pkwy., Room 6N-321, 
Fort Worth, TX 76177. For information on the availability of this 
material at the FAA, call 817-222-5110. It is also available in the AD 
docket on the internet at https://www.regulations.gov by searching for 
and locating Docket No. FAA-2021-0829.

Examining the AD Docket

    You may examine the AD docket on the internet at https://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2021-
0829; or in person at Docket Operations between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., 
Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The AD docket contains 
this NPRM, any comments received, and other information. The street 
address for Docket Operations is listed above. Comments will be 
available in the AD docket shortly after receipt.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Hal Jensen, Aerospace Engineer, 
Operational Safety Branch, Compliance & Airworthiness Division, FAA, 
950 L'Enfant Plaza N SW, Washington, DC 20024; phone: (202) 267-9167; 
email: [email protected].

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Comments Invited

    The FAA invites you to send any written relevant data, views, or 
arguments about this proposal. Send your comments to an address listed 
under ADDRESSES. Include ``Docket No. FAA-2021-0829; Project Identifier 
MCAI-2021-00189-R'' at the beginning of your comments. The most helpful 
comments reference a specific portion of the proposal, explain the 
reason for any recommended change, and include supporting data. The FAA 
will consider all comments received by the closing date and may amend 
this proposal because of those comments.
    Except for Confidential Business Information (CBI) as described in 
the following paragraph, and other information as described in 14 CFR 
11.35, the FAA will post all comments received, without change, to 
https://www.regulations.gov, including any personal information you 
provide. The agency will also post a report summarizing each 
substantive verbal contact received about this proposal.

Confidential Business Information

    CBI is commercial or financial information that is both customarily 
and actually treated as private by its owner. Under the Freedom of 
Information Act (FOIA) (5 U.S.C. 552), CBI is exempt from public 
disclosure. If your comments responsive to this NPRM contain commercial 
or financial information that is customarily treated as private, that 
you actually treat as private, and that is relevant or responsive to 
this NPRM, it is important that you clearly designate the submitted 
comments as CBI. Please mark each page of your submission containing 
CBI as ``PROPIN.'' The FAA will treat such marked submissions as 
confidential under the FOIA, and they will not be placed in the public 
docket of this NPRM. Submissions containing CBI should be sent to Hal 
Jensen, Aerospace Engineer, Operational Safety Branch, Compliance & 
Airworthiness Division, FAA, 950 L'Enfant Plaza N SW, Washington, DC 
20024; phone: (202) 267-9167; email: [email protected]. Any commentary 
that the FAA receives that is not specifically designated as CBI will 
be placed in the public docket for this rulemaking.

Background

    The FAA issued AD 2021-04-21, Amendment 39-21443 (86 FR 17278, 
April 2, 2021) (AD 2021-04-21), which applies to certain Airbus 
Helicopters Model EC120B helicopters. AD 2021-04-21 requires an 
inspection of the attachment bolts of the MR hub scissors

[[Page 52860]]

assembly for discrepancies and repair if necessary; part marking of the 
attachment bolts of the MR hub scissors assembly; and repetitive 
inspections of the part marking of the attachment bolts, and repair if 
necessary. The FAA issued AD 2021-04-21 to address broken and bent 
attachment bolts of the MR hub scissors assembly, which could lead to 
detachment of a MR hub scissors attachment bolt, possibly resulting in 
complete loss of control of the helicopter.

Actions Since AD 2021-04-21 Was Issued

    Since the FAA issued AD 2021-04-21, the FAA has determined that 
additional part marking of the washer, scissor branch, and mast ring of 
the corresponding nut side, and repetitive inspections of the 
additional part markings are necessary to detect rotation of the 
attachment bolts of the MR hub scissors assembly.
    The EASA, which is the Technical Agent for the Member States of the 
European Union, has issued EASA AD 2021-0046, dated February 12, 2021 
(EASA AD 2021-0046) (also referred to as the Mandatory Continuing 
Airworthiness Information, or the MCAI), to correct an unsafe condition 
for all Airbus Helicopters Model EC120B helicopters. Although EASA AD 
2021-0046 applies to all Model EC120B helicopters, this proposed AD 
would apply to helicopters with an affected part installed instead.
    This proposed AD was prompted by a report of broken and bent 
attachment bolts of the MR hub scissors assembly and a determination 
that additional part markings of the washer, scissor branch, and mast 
ring of the corresponding nut side, and repetitive inspections of the 
additional part markings are necessary. The FAA is proposing this AD to 
address broken and bent attachment bolts of the MR hub scissors 
assembly, which could lead to detachment of a MR hub scissors 
attachment bolt, possibly resulting in complete loss of control of the 
helicopter. See the MCAI for additional background information.

Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51

    EASA AD 2021-0046 specifies procedures for an inspection of the 
attachment bolts of the MR hub scissors assembly for discrepancies 
(discrepancies include corrosion, fretting, wear, cracking, bolt play, 
and bolt tightening torque) and repair if necessary; part marking of 
the washer, scissor branch, and mast ring of the attachment bolts and 
corresponding nut side of the MR hub scissors assembly; and repetitive 
inspections, after part marking, for discrepancies, and repair if 
necessary. The inspections of the attachment bolts of the MR hub 
assembly include checking the play and torque of the scissors 
attachment bolts and making sure that there are no hard spots in the 
scissors link hinge.
    This material is reasonably available because the interested 
parties have access to it through their normal course of business or by 
the means identified in the ADDRESSES section.

FAA's Determination and Requirements of This Proposed AD

    This product has been approved by the aviation authority of another 
country, and is approved for operation in the United States. Pursuant 
to the bilateral agreement with the State of Design Authority, the FAA 
has been notified of the unsafe condition described in the MCAI 
referenced above. The FAA is proposing this AD after evaluating all the 
relevant information and determining the unsafe condition described 
previously is likely to exist or develop in other products of the same 
type design.

Explanation of Retained Requirements

    Although this proposed AD does not explicitly restate the 
requirements of AD 2021-04-21, this proposed AD would retain all of the 
requirements of AD 2021-04-21. Those requirements are referenced in 
EASA AD 2021-0046, which, in turn, is referenced in paragraph (g) of 
this proposed AD.

Proposed AD Requirements

    This proposed AD would require accomplishing the actions specified 
in EASA AD 2021-0046 described previously, as incorporated by 
reference, except for any differences identified as exceptions in the 
regulatory text of this AD.

Explanation of Required Compliance Information

    In the FAA's ongoing efforts to improve the efficiency of the AD 
process, the FAA initially worked with Airbus and EASA to develop a 
process to use certain EASA ADs as the primary source of information 
for compliance with requirements for corresponding FAA ADs. The FAA has 
since coordinated with other manufacturers and civil aviation 
authorities to use this process. As a result, EASA AD 2021-0046 will be 
incorporated by reference in the FAA final rule. This proposed AD 
would, therefore, require compliance with EASA AD 2021-0046 in its 
entirety, through that incorporation, except for any differences 
identified as exceptions in the regulatory text of this proposed AD. 
Using common terms that are the same as the heading of a particular 
section in the EASA AD does not mean that operators need comply only 
with that section. For example, where the AD requirement refers to 
``all required actions and compliance times,'' compliance with this AD 
requirement is not limited to the section titled ``Required Action(s) 
and Compliance Time(s)'' in the EASA AD. Service information specified 
in EASA AD 2021-0046 that is required for compliance with EASA AD 2021-
0046 will be available on the internet at https://www.regulations.gov 
by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2021-0829 after the FAA 
final rule is published.

Costs of Compliance

    The FAA estimates that this proposed AD affects 89 helicopters of 
U.S. registry. The FAA estimates the following costs to comply with 
this proposed AD:

                                      Estimated Costs for Required Actions
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                                                 Cost on U.S.
             Action                      Labor cost          Parts cost    Cost per product        operators
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Inspection for discrepancies      4 work-hours x $85 per             $0  $340...............  $30,260.
 (retained actions from AD 2021-   hour = $340.
 04-21).
Part Marking (retained actions    1 work-hour x $85 per               0  85.................  7,565.
 from AD 2021-04-21).              hour = $85.
Repetitive Inspection of          1 work-hour x $85 per               0  85 per inspection    7,565 per
 Markings (retained actions from   hour = $85 per                         cycle.               inspection cycle.
 AD 2021-04-21).                   inspection cycle.
Additional Part Marking (new      1 work-hour x $85 per               0  85.................  7,565.
 proposed action).                 hour = $85.
Repetitive Inspection (new        1 work-hours x $85 per              0  85 per inspection    7,565 per
 proposed action).                 hour = $85 per                         cycle.               inspection cycle.
                                   inspection cycle.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


[[Page 52861]]

    The FAA estimates that it would take about 1 hour per product to 
comply with the proposed reporting requirement in this proposed AD. The 
average labor rate is $85 per hour. Based on these figures, the FAA 
estimates the cost of reporting on U.S. operators to be $7,565, or $85 
per product.
    The FAA estimates the following costs to do any necessary on-
condition actions that would be required based on the results of any 
required actions. The FAA has no way of determining the number of 
helicopters that might need these on-condition actions:

                                               On-Condition Costs
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                                                     Cost per
                    Action                                 Labor cost               Parts cost        product
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Repair of the attachment bolts................  4 work-hours x $85 per hour =                $40            $380
                                                 $340.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Paperwork Reduction Act

    A federal agency may not conduct or sponsor, and a person is not 
required to respond to, nor shall a person be subject to penalty for 
failure to comply with a collection of information subject to the 
requirements of the Paperwork Reduction Act unless that collection of 
information displays a current valid OMB control number. The control 
number for the collection of information required by this proposed AD 
is 2120-0056. The paperwork cost associated with this proposed AD has 
been detailed in the Costs of Compliance section of this document and 
includes time for reviewing instructions, as well as completing and 
reviewing the collection of information. Therefore, all reporting 
associated with this proposed AD is mandatory. Comments concerning the 
accuracy of this burden and suggestions for reducing the burden should 
be directed to Information Collection Clearance Officer, Federal 
Aviation Administration, 10101 Hillwood Pkwy., Fort Worth, TX 76177-
1524.

Authority for This Rulemaking

    Title 49 of the United States Code specifies the FAA's authority to 
issue rules on aviation safety. Subtitle I, section 106, describes the 
authority of the FAA Administrator. Subtitle VII: Aviation Programs, 
describes in more detail the scope of the Agency's authority.
    The FAA is issuing this rulemaking under the authority described in 
Subtitle VII, Part A, Subpart III, Section 44701: General requirements. 
Under that section, Congress charges the FAA with promoting safe flight 
of civil aircraft in air commerce by prescribing regulations for 
practices, methods, and procedures the Administrator finds necessary 
for safety in air commerce. This regulation is within the scope of that 
authority because it addresses an unsafe condition that is likely to 
exist or develop on products identified in this rulemaking action.

Regulatory Findings

    The FAA determined that this proposed AD would not have federalism 
implications under Executive Order 13132. This proposed AD would not 
have a substantial direct effect on the States, on the relationship 
between the national Government and the States, or on the distribution 
of power and responsibilities among the various levels of government.
    For the reasons discussed above, I certify this proposed 
regulation:
    (1) Is not a ``significant regulatory action'' under Executive 
Order 12866,
    (2) Would not affect intrastate aviation in Alaska, and
    (3) Would not have a significant economic impact, positive or 
negative, on a substantial number of small entities under the criteria 
of the Regulatory Flexibility Act.

List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39

    Air transportation, Aircraft, Aviation safety, Incorporation by 
reference, Safety.

The Proposed Amendment

    Accordingly, under the authority delegated to me by the 
Administrator, the FAA proposes to amend 14 CFR part 39 as follows:

PART 39--AIRWORTHINESS DIRECTIVES

0
1. The authority citation for part 39 continues to read as follows:

    Authority: 49 U.S.C. 106(g), 40113, 44701.


Sec.  39.13  [Amended]

0
2. The FAA amends Sec.  39.13 by:
0
a. Removing Airworthiness Directive (AD) 2021-04-21, Amendment 39-21443 
(86 FR 17278, April 2, 2021); and
0
b. Adding the following new AD:

Airbus Helicopters: Docket No. FAA-2021-0829; Project Identifier 
MCAI-2021-00189-R.

(a) Comments Due Date

    The FAA must receive comments on this airworthiness directive 
(AD) by November 8, 2021.

(b) Affected ADs

    This AD replaces AD 2021-04-21, Amendment 39-21443 (86 FR 17278, 
April 2, 2021) (AD 2021-04-21).

(c) Applicability

    This AD applies to Airbus Helicopters Model EC120B helicopters, 
certificated in any category, having an affected part as defined in 
European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) AD 2021-0046, dated 
February 12, 2021 (EASA AD 2021-0046).

(d) Subject

    Joint Aircraft System Component (JASC) Code 6200, Main Rotor 
System.

(e) Unsafe Condition

    This AD was prompted by a report of broken and bent attachment 
bolts of the main rotor (MR) hub scissors assembly and a 
determination that additional part markings of the washer, scissor 
branch, and mast ring of the corresponding nut side, and repetitive 
inspections of those part markings, are necessary to detect any 
rotation. The FAA is issuing this AD to address broken and bent 
attachment bolts of the MR hub scissors assembly, which could lead 
to detachment of a MR hub scissors attachment bolt, possibly 
resulting in complete loss of control of the helicopter.

(f) Compliance

    Comply with this AD within the compliance times specified, 
unless already done.

(g) Requirements

    Except as specified in paragraph (h) of this AD: Comply with all 
required actions and compliance times specified in, and in 
accordance with, EASA AD 2021-0046.

(h) Exceptions to EASA AD 2021-0046

    (1) Where EASA AD 2021-0046 refers to its effective date, this 
AD requires using the effective date of this AD.
    (2) Where EASA AD 2021-0046 refers to September 05, 2018 (the 
effective date of EASA AD 2018-0186), this AD requires using May 7, 
2021 (the effective date of AD 2021-04-21).
    (3) This AD does not mandate compliance with the ``Remarks'' 
section of EASA AD 2021-0046.
    (4) Where the service information referenced in EASA AD 2021-
0046 specifies to discard certain parts, this AD requires removing 
those parts from service.

[[Page 52862]]

    (5) Where EASA AD 2021-0046 refers to flight hours (FH), this AD 
requires using hours time-in-service.
    (6) Paragraphs (3) and (4) of EASA AD 2021-0046 refer to 
``discrepancies.'' For this AD, discrepancies include corrosion, 
fretting, wear, cracking, bolt play, twist, shearing, rupture, and 
bolt tightening torque.
    (7) Where EASA AD 2021-0046 specifies to contact the 
manufacturer for repair instructions, this AD requires the repair to 
be done in accordance with a method approved by the Manager, General 
Aviation and Rotorcraft Section, International Validation Branch, 
FAA; or EASA; or Airbus Helicopter's EASA Design Organization 
Approval (DOA). If approved by the DOA, the approval must include 
the DOA-authorized signature.
    (8) Paragraph (5) of EASA AD 2021-0046 specifies to report 
inspection results to Airbus Helicopters within a certain compliance 
time. For this AD, report inspection results at the applicable time 
specified in paragraph (h)(8)(i) or (ii) of this AD.
    (i) If the inspection was done on or after May 7, 2021 (the 
effective date of AD 2021-04-21): Submit the report within 30 days 
after the inspection.
    (ii) If the inspection was done before May 7, 2021 (the 
effective date of AD 2021-04-21): Submit the report within 30 days 
after May 7, 2021.

(i) Special Flight Permit

    Special flight permits, as described in 14 CFR 21.197 and 
21.199, are not allowed.

(j) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs)

    (1) The Manager, International Validation Branch, FAA, has the 
authority to approve AMOCs for this AD, if requested using the 
procedures found in 14 CFR 39.19. In accordance with 14 CFR 39.19, 
send your request to your principal inspector or local Flight 
Standards District Office, as appropriate. If sending information 
directly to the manager of the International Validation Branch, send 
it to the attention of the person identified in paragraph (k)(2) of 
this AD. Information may be emailed to: [email protected].
    (2) Before using any approved AMOC, notify your appropriate 
principal inspector, or lacking a principal inspector, the manager 
of the local flight standards district office/certificate holding 
district office.

(k) Related Information

    (1) For EASA AD 2021-0046, contact the EASA, Konrad-Adenauer-
Ufer 3, 50668 Cologne, Germany; phone: +49 221 8999 000; email: 
[email protected]; internet: www.easa.europa.eu. You may find this 
EASA AD on the EASA website at https://ad.easa.europa.eu. You may 
view this material at the FAA, Office of the Regional Counsel, 
Southwest Region, 10101 Hillwood Pkwy., Room 6N-321, Fort Worth, TX 
76177. For information on the availability of this material at the 
FAA, call 817-222-5110. This material may be found in the AD docket 
on the internet at https://www.regulations.gov by searching for and 
locating Docket No. FAA-2021-0829.
    (2) For more information about this AD, contact Hal Jensen, 
Aerospace Engineer, Operational Safety Branch, Compliance & 
Airworthiness Division, FAA, 950 L'Enfant Plaza N SW, Washington, DC 
20024; phone: (202) 267-9167; email: [email protected].

    Issued on September 16, 2021.
Lance T. Gant,
Director, Compliance & Airworthiness Division, Aircraft Certification 
Service.
[FR Doc. 2021-20414 Filed 9-22-21; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4910-13-P